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A slightly different post – UK Lockdown and Divorced/Separated Parents

Last Updated on March 24, 2020 by GrahamWalsh

So this isn’t my normal post, but I thought I’d collate all the relevant information here in one place. The UK is going on lockdown as much as possible to ensure the spread of the coronavirus is reduced to flatten the curve. To be honest, it’s taken too long to get here, should have been done days ago once the UK could see the trend against Italy. Let’s not debate that now.

What is important and close to me is how do you co-parent when the parents are separated or divorced. Looking at the ONS for stats, 42% of marriages end in divorce in the UK. Some of those may not have children. Anyway, I’m in this boat. My kids live with their mum in the week, and I have them at the weekends, etc. When Boris Johnson announced his new measures to lockdown the UK, it left me wondering when will I see my boys. They are seven and nine, they understand what is going on in the world, but not as well as myself or their mother.

Eventually, I found a tweet here with Tom Burke wondering the same. After a few messages exchanged, it appeared that there was a document now online on the gov.uk website. It was linked off this page. Andrew Ellery found the document.

I then decided to tweet and share this information in a new tweet (and also on Facebook and LinkedIn) and highlight the relevant areas. This was my understanding. I had a screenshot and a link to the source document on the gov.uk website. The original document is here. I downloaded it as a reference.

Then I saw another tweet from David Baddiel regarding couples that do not live together. So I responded with my tweet and David kindly retweeted it. OMG, my twitter feed went mad. Lots of RTs, likes etc. In a normal tweet, probably get a few likes, maybe comments and over a week or two, maybe a few thousand impressions.

In just 12 hours of my tweet, the stats are mad.

There were some great responses to it, clearly helping worried people out, this one stood out.

There were, of course, the internet trolls, calling me a COVIDIOT for putting my children at risk, etc. I don’t see how it is any different from parents living together who are not out at work. I then got accused of modifying the document. What had happened is that the government changed the document and appended a __1_ to the document and uploaded a new version. Again, this is the online here and I have downloaded it here. It’s a shame the document doesn’t have a version number inside it on a header. I understand they were rushing it out and thanks to all behind the scenes making sure the country is safe and protected, along with NHS, etc.

The document is linked from this main page.

The format of the document changed and sharing children was not a sub-note anymore.

Then on Good Morning Britain today, Piers Morgan was interviewing Michael Gove around the policy of co-parenting. He got it wrong and then apologised in another tweet to correct himself.

He then appeared on BBC Breakfast and got the correct message across.

Just in case any twitter videos get removed, here it is.

So that is it, we are in Lockdown for three weeks and we can see our children. But please be sensible about it. If one partner is working and it at risk, it’s not worth risking that contact. Use Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc to speak to them on video.

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